While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for August 3

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INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

Concerns are growing over the coronavirus spreading at schools. Elwood Junior and Senior High School is physically closed this week after at least one staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Students will switch to e-learning for the week.

School officials say all staff members were tested before school started. They tell us no students had close contact with the positive person—just staff members. Those employees are now in quarantine.

This comes as a student-athletes in New Pal and Warren Township tested positive for the virus.

Both school districts tell us they’ve been in touch with those who may have come in contact with those two people.

New Pal students head back to classes today. Warren Township doesn’t go back until Thursday.

Today, Washington Township Schools will discuss when their students may be able to go back to the classroom. The school board will meet virtually at 8 a.m.

The district was one of the first to make the decision to move to 100% virtual learning for the start of the year.

We talked to several school officials on the first day. They told us there is no win-win situation right now, but going online was the best choice.

Talks resume today on the coronavirus stimulus package. Lawmakers are still unable to agree on a deal.

The key sticking point separating Democrats and Republicans continues to be the federal boost to unemployment benefits. It was set at $600 in March, but it expired last week.

Democrats want to extend the weekly benefit into 2021. Republicans believe that payment should be cut to $200 a week.

The U.S. continues to report more COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country, according to new numbers from Johns Hopkins University.

This comes as the White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx warns the U.S. is in a new phase of the pandemic.

Right now, Birx says there are 20 states she’s watching very closely. Florida, Texas, and California are among those in the “red zone.” Indiana is currently in the “yellow zone.”

Birx says each state can play its part in slowing the spread, by tailoring its response to mitigate cases. 

“I think it’s our job as public health officials to be able to get a message to each American that says if you’ve chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot, you really need to come back and protect those and assume you’re infected,” Birx said.

According to the latest data, there are more than 4.6 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

More than 154,000 Americans have died from the virus. 1.4 million Americans have recovered.

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